The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), abbreviated as RIFA, is believed to have been brought by accident to Mobile, Alabama in the 1930s via ship ballast from South America. The RIFA was first reported in Charleston and Orangeburg counties in South Carolina in 1952 and has since spread to all 46 counties in the state. The RIFA has had adverse impacts on the environments it has infested. In natural environments, the young of ground-nesting insects, reptiles, birds and mammals are subject to RIFA predation. In agriculture, the RIFA damages crops and livestock. The RIFA poses a health threat to humans, as it is aggressive and has a venomous sting. To learn more about the current impacts of the RIFA, a random sample of South Carolina households was conducted between November 1998 and January 1999. This report summarizes the survey results.


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